The Olympia Theater is a part of a redevelopment of the Olympia exhibition centre. The project is run by Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance International (DFI). It began in 2018 and is scheduled to open in the year 2025. The redevelopment project is £1.3 billion. It is designed by Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC. Both the architectural firms are chiefly London based.

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Heatherwick Studio and Howorth Tompkins have recently unveiled the detailed plan for the project.

Olympia was originally conceived as the National Agricultural Hall in the 1880s. It was seen as the larger version of the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington. The large indoor spaces were intended for exhibitions, tournaments, sporting competitions and entertainments of various kinds.

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New Olympia Theatre revealed by Heatherwick and Haworth Tompkins Sheet1
Olympia London in 1880s_©Olympia London

The Kensington Olympia exhibition centre in London is the largest new permanent theatre in the city since 1970. The last new theatre to be built in the capital was the Denys Lasdun’s National Theater on the South Bank in 1976, with a capacity of more than 1,000 seats. The new Olympia Theater offers a venue with 1,575 seats.

This theatre in west London will be operated by Trafalgar Entertainment. The current owner of the Trafalgar Theatre in central London has signed a 35-year contract, for the Olympia Theatre. The deal is known to be worth £100 million.

The Redevelopment Plan

The plans were drawn by Heatherwick Studio with lead architect SPPARC and approved by Hammersmith and Fulham Council. The project covers an area wider than 186,000 m2 redeveloping the site of existing Kensington Olympia exhibition halls. The design includes a five-storeyed building with a stacked auditorium. It also comprises offices, studios and co-working space. And a four-screen arthouse cinema with a music area that will generously offer 3,500 seats.

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The Olympia Centra Hall will be demolished, while the Grade 2 listed Olympia National and Olympia Grand will be retained for the realisation of this project. About ten thousand meter square of new public space will also be created, along with abundant cycling and parking space, as per the requirement of the project.

The broader redevelopment of Olympia London seeks to establish a celebrated cultural hub. That would include hotels and restaurants, performing arts venues and state of the art offices and working spaces. The first tenants are expected to move by 2023, two years before the completion of the project.

New Olympia Theatre revealed by Heatherwick and Haworth Tompkins Sheet2
New Streetscape (render)_©Olympia London

It is also being hoped that the redevelopment of this project will boost the local economy and ensure that London remains a world-leading events destination.

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The Hotels

The London Olympia will turn into a world-leading cultural destination. The two hotels will be operated by Hyatt and CitizenM and are set to be completed by 2023. Across the two hotels, there will be almost 350 rooms.

The Hyatt Regency London Olympia will be a 5-star hotel with 196 rooms, suits, a bar and a deli. It will also be connected to a new restaurant. While on the other hand, the CitizenM London Olympia, is the brand’s fifth London destination. The hotel will have 145 rooms, three society rooms and a citizen living room.

The Offices and Other Spaces

Along with shops and cafes, the project is scheduled to offer modern office spaces. The office spaces will have an area of almost 550,000 square feet (approximately 51,000-meter square).
The brand new music venue that will hold up to 4,400 people is set above the west Exhibition hall on the second floor.

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New Olympia Theatre revealed by Heatherwick and Haworth Tompkins Sheet3
The Restaurant (render)_©Olympia London

There will be improved show spaces for the event organisers and state of an art logistics centre to help the building up and break down the process of shows to be more efficient. AEG Presents will run the new venue. They run the festivals including American Express presents BST Hyde Park, All Points East at Victoria Park and Eden Sessions, and represents the likes of Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, and Rod Stewart.

The Construction

The demolition of Olympia Central has now begun signifying the start of the main construction phase of the project. Work has begun on a total of seven of the new buildings. The completion is scheduled for 2023 and 2024.
The Olympia National and Olympia Grand which are being incorporated into the site’s overall redevelopment will continue to host events while the work is taking place.

A new energy centre that provides heating and cooling to exhibit spaces is near completion and the structural strengthening of the West Hall that will allow the two-story music venus above will be completed in the coming weeks. The foundation work for the theatre building and Olympia Roof Garden has also begun.

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New Olympia Theatre revealed by Heatherwick and Haworth Tompkins Sheet4
Redeveloped Center (render)_©constructionenquirer.com

A large portion of the walls and floors of the building along with a large portion of their mechanical and electrical services will be manufactured offsite in a factory using Laing O’Rourke’s design for the manufacture and assemble approach. Reducing the number of operatives and vehicles on site.

References

  • En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Olympia London – Wikipedia. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympia_London> [Accessed 3 June 2021].
  • &pound;20m, O., 2021. Demolition begins for &pound;1.3bn Olympia redevelopment. [online] Theconstructionindex.co.uk. Available at: <https://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/demolition-begins-on-13bn-olympia-redevelopment> [Accessed 3 June 2021].
  • South West Londoner. 2021. Olympia London to undergo a £1.3 billion redevelopment project. [online] Available at: <https://www.swlondoner.co.uk/news/02122020-olympia-london-redevelopment-project/> [Accessed 3 June 2021].
  • designboom | architecture & design magazine. 2021. heatherwick, haworth tompkins and SPPARC share details on new olympia london theatre. [online] Available at: <https://www.designboom.com/architecture/heatherwick-haworth-tompkins-spparc-details-new-olympia-theatre-design-05-28-2021/> [Accessed 3 June 2021].
Author

Currently, in the fourth year of B.Arch course at IIT Roorkee, Mansi Dengre is a young and passionate writer. Her area of interest lies in the softer aspects of design, the society, culture and narratives, and green architecture. Sometimes you might find her lost in books and music.

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